Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Tasting and Touring at Sterling Vineyards

A visit to Sterling Vineyards was a recommendation from a marketing acquaintance. In addition to seeking new material for various articles, this trip was also a fact finding mission for a trip with a group of consumers being planned for this spring.

Sterling Vineyards is a larger operation making numerous styles of wine. They are set up to move large groups of people through the winery with a bit of a Wine 101 self-guided tasting tour. There is the sense of being at an amusement park when you arrive and get your ticket for the gondola ride up to the winery. You get to enjoy expansive views of the surrounding area during your ride to the top.

Guests are greeted and tagged in the portico after their ascension. We were treated to the "Silver Experience" which means that after the self guided walking tour, we would enjoy a seated tasting of some limited releases in the terrace tasting room. We received our first glass of wine and were directed to the next tasting area. Along the way, guests enjoy educational media, stunning views and an overview of the wine making process. Sauvignon Blanc grapes were waiting to become wine on the day that we visited. Following the winery tour, there is an art collection on display as you meander through to the tasting room.

The Tour Way featured wines:
2012 Winery Lake Chardonnay (SRP $30)- Served upon entry; soft, round, floral aromas, tropical flavors, creamy. 
2012 Napa Pinot Noir (SRP $30)- Served on the Diamond Mountain Ranch Plaza; wild berries, forest floor, caramel finish.
2012 Napa Merlot (SRP $26)- Served at the fermentation overlook; cherry/berry, spicy oak finish.
2014 Malvasia Bianca (SRP $30)- Served at the south view terrace; pronounced sweet orange and ginger aromas and flavors.

In the Tasting Room:
2013 Cellar Club Viognier (SRP $30)- light peach, melon, citrus
2012 Cellar Club Sangiovese (SRP $35)- earthy, cranberry, forest floor
2011 Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon (SRP $55)- blackberry cobbler, graphite, dusty tannins. 

A great place to tour and taste for couples on up to large groups. This tour is particularly recommended for anyone wanting to learn more about how wine is made. General admission with current release tasting is $29, the Silver Experience is $39. Cheese, charcuterie and wines by the glass are all available for an additional fee in the tasting room.